Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Low-Key Christmas

Our big Christmas celebration was actually on Christmas Eve, and early on Christmas Eve because I had to work from three until ten last night. Just part of the job.

We're open 365 days a year, 15 hours a day, and someone needs to be there for our guests, so the desk crew works out who needs which days off so we can cover for each other. It was a bit trickier this year because one of my co-workers is recovering from hip surgery and the manager, who often covers morning hours, is on a well-deserved vacation. But we made it happen.

So for Christmas Eve, Thomas and Erin came over with their roommate Tammy and her Boyfriend Paul. There was a brunch buffet and a Yankee gift swap, and lots of time to talk and visit, even if I did have to leave early.

But for the actual day of Christmas, we took it easy. Thomas and Erin were visiting Erin's parents. Most of the gifts at our house weren't even wrapped, breakfast was done in stages and kept simple. There was a lot of TV watching, some video game playing, and some fun playing around with gifts, like a great little lens that Karen got for my phone camera which takes wide-angle pictures, and Karen's new tablet, which we're going to use to watch movies on the bus.

Daniel got money toward a game console he really wants, and William got art supplies. As I said, pretty laid back.

And we're kind of stretching out the family celebration, with a trip to Tom and Erin's apartment planned for tomorrow.

Of course, there was one very, very exciting even on this Christmas day: Tom and Erin officially announced their engagement. We're brimming over with delight to hear that.


Monday, September 03, 2018

A Bus!

We're on pins and needles a little this weekend. Karen went southwest, nearly to the Vermont border, and bought a bus. I still can't believe I'm writing that. Not the sort of thing I usually write. But there it is, Karen bought a bus.

The bus is still near the Vermont border, because the dealer couldn't put temporary plates on it, for reasons too complicated to go into here, and we couldn't get to the DMV, it being the weekend, when the DMV offices are closed. So the dealer agreed to deliver it to a local mechanic using his dealer plates.

That was supposed to happen yesterday or today. The dealer called and left a message saying there was a snag. Probably something else related to the holiday weekend, but it's still left us a bit nervous. We'll feel better when the bus is at the shop, only about ten minutes from our house, getting its inspection and, with luck, an inspection sticker.

The bus is not like the ones we've been looking at. For one thing, it is not now nor has it ever been a public school bus. This has a big advantage because it means there are a lot of things that we'd have to worry about taking off the bus that, well, were never there on this one. Things like the flashing lights and the stop sign on a swing arm. Not to mention the yellow paint, because the bus is white.

And, being white, the perfect canvas for whatever creative painting Karen wants to do on it. The bus, apparently, belonged to a private academy in Vermont and was mostly used to take the students skiing. It has the right kind of tires for the task, and racks inside for the ski equipment. We're taking those out, but the need to have room to stow equipment also means this bus has fewer seats to remove.

And the seats that are staying are, according to Karen (for I have not sat in, or in fact been anywhere near, the bus yet) quite comfortable. All that's missing is shoulder belts, but I think we can manage to add those without too much trouble.

This is an exciting step for us. The bus is not only intended as our new camper, a substitute for the unwieldy and cramped trailer we've been using for a few years; it's also meant to serve as a long-term traveling home during our upcoming retirement.

Karen was very anxious to get a bus, and there were a lot of false starts. But looking at what we got (the pictures at any rate) I'm very happy that she waited. I think she got a good one.

When it finally arrives.